Racing

Where is the next generation of great Irish jockeys? | Friday Night Racing

Ryan Clarke
Ryan Clarke

17:31 28 Feb 2020

Approaching the end of what was a golden age of Irish jockeys, the question turns to who is coming up to replace them?

That is also the question that Friday Night Racing was trying to find an answer to this week. 

Host Thom Malone was joined by journalist Johnny Ward and jockey Paudie Roche when attention turned to which up and coming jockeys would be capable of taking the mantle of the next great Irish jockey.

“Ireland is strange at the moment because David Mullins has had a couple of fairly quiet years and now has gotten a shocking injury,” Ward said.

“Jack Kennedy is injured. Brian Cooper has completely failed in terms of his career from where he started, he’ll admit that himself. He’s trying to revive his career.

“So we’ve got this hole for someone to come through now,” he added.

Paudie Roche was optimistic that talent will be able to make its way to the forefront.

“There’s plenty of them [up and coming jockeys] around. Kevin Brouder rides well for a start, Darragh O’Keeffe is a very, very good rider.

“There’s a couple of sevens coming through as well and having a good run at it as well,” Roche said.

However, the majority of his praise was reserved for a young jockey in his own yard by the name of Aidan Kelly.

“I’ve a good young lad in the yard, Aidan Kelly, he just rode his first winner.I’m just probably not big enough to give him the opportunities but he’s very, very good to ride,” he said.

“He’s from Monasterevin and to me you couldn’t ask for a better lad in the yard. He’s a great worker and when you’re finding it hard to get going yourself every winner is important.

“He’s an exceptionally good worker and if we can get him going he’ll be noticed then. He just needs more experience, you can’t beat experience.

“He rode his first winner in Thurles there, on Open To The World, and he gave her a great ride.

“But hopefully now this summer we’ll have a few more runners and be able to get him going but he’s very capable and he’s one to look out for.

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Darragh O'Keeffe Friday Night Racing Johnny Ward Kevin Brouder Paudie Roche

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